And yet, Yaakov sought it out for his sons. Yaakov asks Yosef to go visit his brothers and to see how they were doing. In the process, he commands Yosef to see "HaShalom Lahem." HaGaon Harav Nissan Alpert notes that the request of Yaakov was extremely poignant considering that Yaakov insisted that one of the brothers stay with him to attend to him (See Rashi, VaYashav Reuven). How and why did Yaakov allow Yosef to leave to visit his other children while leaving him alone?
Sforno suggests that Yaakov was concerned with Yosef's relationship with his brothers. Yosef had clearly damaged the relationship with his brothers by bringing all of his perceived indiscretions on their behalf to his father. It was incumbent upon him to repair the relationship and thus increase the peace. Yaakov recognized the problem and encouraged Yosef to begin the repairs by seeking his brothers' favor. Hence, while not having anyone home to personally deal with him, Yaakov told Yosef to seek the peace and send his regards.
Often a mere "hello" or other words of regards can make a person's day, enhance a relationship and bring warmth into an otherwise chilled relationship. This week's Chaburah examines the Halachic ramifications of saying Shalom when a relationship needs to be chilled. It is entitled:
Chanukah: The Accusation
The Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 671:8) reminds us that a courtyard with 2 entrances requires the courtyard owner to light a menorah on both sides. The reason, notes the michaber, is because of Chashad or accusation. The Mishna Berurah (51) notes that the Chashad is likely to come from the people of the city who will assume that when the individual does not light in the window that they see, the owner must not have lit Chanukah candles at all.
The Talmud has other instances where Chashad should be the order of the day. After all, seeing one pass behind a Shul during davening time should be a cause for concern. Yet, in that instance (Berachos 8b) the Gemara specifically cautions us not to assume that the individual is avoiding entering the Shul, rather that he is entering from a different door. Why not expect people to do the same for Chanukah? What connection, if any, is there between Chanukah and Chashad?
The Beis Yosef (O.C. 671) notes that there is a simple difference. Accusing one of not fulfilling Chanukah candles is not a statement of heresy. It is an accusation of laxity in Mitzva performance that many are likely to accept within their neighbor. To this, there is the concern of Chashad. However, ignoring Shul is ignoring Hashem and no one is likely to attribute that practice to his neighbor and therefore the concern of Chashad wouldn't apply.
The Beis HaLevi (Kuntres Chanukah) noted another instance where Chashad play a big role in Chanukah. He notes that the general Chanukah rule is Kavsa Eina Zakuk Lah - that if the Chanukah candle goes out he need not relight it. To this the Beis HaLevi asks why not insist on relighting the candle - after all, let's relight it because of Chashad?
The Beis HaLevi responds that there is no question that one would have to relight it out of concern of Chashad. Rather, the whole debate in the Talmud is whether the Ikkar HaMitzva - the main Mitzva of kindling Chanukah candles is achieved if I perform the action and then the candles are extinguished. Of course one would have to relight, the only concern is whether that is part of the Mitzva or merely to relieve Chashad. The Beis HaLevi concedes that this explanation is somewhat suspect in light of the fact that none of the Poskim seem to indicate that although we Paskin that Kavsa Eino Zakuk Lah, one must still rekindle given the concerns of Chashad - casting the assumption that Chashad might not apply.
Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg (Mishmeres Chaim, p. 79) offered a different possibility. He conjectures that Chashad cannot require a person to redo an entire Mitzva. In the case of the double doorway, Chashad doesn't require a redo of the Mitzva, it merely expands how many places one needs to light in order to fulfill the complete obligation. However, if we hold Kavsa Eino Zakuk Lah, we are saying that the individual already fulfilled his obligation of lighting candles. Merely having Chashad cannot make him have to light again.